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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 7633

SPEECH BY THE PRIME MINISTER MEMORIAL CEREMONY FOR THOSE KILLED IN CHINA CANBERRA - 9 JUNE 1989

Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

More information about Hawke, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 09/06/1989

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 7633

PRIME MINISTER
CHECKAGAINST DELIVERY EMBARGOED UNTIL DELIVERY
SPEECH BY THE PRIME MINISTER
MEMORIAL CEREMONY FOR THOSE KILLED IN CHINA
CANBERRA 9 JUNE 1989
ror more than a month now, the eyes of the world have been
on China.
S We witnessed a massive rallying of people in Beijing and
Shanghai and heard the powerful expression of their will in
the cause of democratic reform.
We were inspired by the idealism and courage of youth the
~ ea ceful determination of students to create a better
uture, and the support that rallied around their cause from
throughout Chinese society.
our sp irits were buoyed by the optimism of their vision and,
no matter how far we were from the events in Tian'anmen
Square, our hearts were with them.
Then last weekend, our optimism was shattered as we watched
in horror the unyielding forces of repression brutally
killing the vision of youth.
U narmed young men and women were sprayed with bullets and
crushed by tanks. Innocent people were shot and beaten in
the streets and in their homes.
incredibly despite the horror and the risks, we have
witnessed acts of indescribable bravery on our television
screens: A lone man standing in front of a row of tanks, the
strength of his will stalling the might of armour as it
rolled down a Beijing street.
Young people co nfronting lines of armed troops, not in
anger, but in disbelief that an army could unleash force
on its own people with such cruelty.
Thousands have been killed and injured, victims of a
leadership that seems determined to hang on to the reins of
power at any cost -at awful human cost.

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We meet here to mourn this tragedy and to share the grief of
those who have lost members of their families, their loved
ones and their friends, and to express our profound symathy
to the Chinese-Australian community that has expressed ts
outrage at the massacre in Beijing.
We meet here to show our support for the Chinese people and
to reaffirm our commitment to the ideals of democracy and
freedom of expression that they have so eloquently espoused.
And we meet here reflecting on the very future of China,
which in recent years had built up so much goodwill in the
international community of nations, which had already come
to play such a welcome and constructive role in our region,
and which promised to do so much more.
It is my sincere hope and, indeed, my resolute conviction,
that the values and aspirations of those who have been so
brutally repressed over the past week will eventually
triumph, that the death and suffering will not have been in
vain$ that the path of reform and mode rnisation will be
renewed.
We all pray that moderation will eventually prevail, so that
a new and better China can rise from this carnage, a China
that befits the courage and determination of its people.
I call on the Chinese Government to withdraw its troops from
deployment against unarmed civilians, and to respect the
will of its people.
To crush the spirit and body of youth is to crush the very
future of China itself.
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Transcript 7633